Tag: Japan

Student Chronicle: Reflecting on Japan Study Trip 2011

During the spring semester 2011, two of Hedda master students were given the opportunity to undertake one study module of their master programme in J.F. Oberlin University in Japan. In this post, Lina Liu reflects on some of her experiences and gives some practical tips to students who might embark on a similar journey. 

Due to my previous education in East Asian Studies in UiO, I had always dreamt of going to East Asian countries, especially Japan and South Korea. Supposedly, if I could go there in person, I might obtain a deeper understanding of the knowledge learned in class and receive some new experience-based perspectives concerning this region. Fortunately, thanks to a study abroad program initiated by the Higher Education program in UiO and J. F. Oberlin University in Japan, I got a terrific chance to visit and study in Japan for one month. In this way, dreams finally came true.

To Learn

During this month, 3-week courses covering globalization of higher education, and Japanese and Asian higher education were offered. In fact, there were three main topicss: (1) globalization of Japanese higher education; (2) private higher education in Japan; and (3) Japan-focused internationalization of Asian higher education, namely Asianization. In this way, three different professors took main responsibility to arrange lectures for each week’s topic.

In fact, they did not only give presentations to us, they also invited various teachers from other universities and education-related agencies as guest lecturers for us. In the end, the lecturers whom we met in Japan ranged from professors in J. F. Oberlin University and Waseda University, officers from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), as well as professor from American UCLA.




Hong Kong institutions lead the rankings in Asia

QS university rankings has been producing the ranking of top 200 Asian universities since 2009, and the newest edition was recently published. The methodology for this ranking is somewhat different from the QS World University Rankings that has been produced since 2004. Whereas in the world ranking the focus is on international research universities, the Asian ranking also weighs universities that have a more local focus and that publish primarily in the local language.

The newly published QS rankings of top Asian universities has indicated that the two overall best universities in Asia are located in Hong Kong.  John O’Leary summarizes on the QS Intelligence unit page some of the findings. Japan still keeps its strong position in the ranking with over 25% of the universities in top200 being from Japan. While Hong Kong also shows a strong performance, mainland China has only made marginal progress. Considering the Chinese efforts in building world class universities, this could be seen as a disappointing result. However, as always, depending on the ranking methodology there are aspects of higher education that the rankings do show and there are always aspects they do not show. The rankings include institutions from 13 countries, however – Vietnam and Sri Lanka are still absent.

One can also examine the rankings with respect to the specific indicators that have been measured. If one examines the academic peer review aspect of the ranking, one can see that what are considered the best universities in Asia by peers include seven institutions with a top score – two from Japan, two from China, and one from Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. This is in contrast with the THE reputation rankings of world universities published earlier this year, where  the top 6 was leading by a clear margin.




International Higher Education Podcast: Episode 1

Hedda is pleased to announce the launch of The International Higher Education Podcast.  Our aim is to deliver an innovative approach to presenting news, interviews, and discussions on topics in the field of Higher Education, to a worldwide audience.

Episode 1


Direct download

Episode Summary

Dr. Peter MaassenThe podcast will begin with Part 1 in a series of interviews focusing on the recently published book, Borderless Knowledge?  Understanding the “New” Internationalisation of Research and Higher Education in Norway.The first interview in this series features Dr. Peter Maassen.  Dr. Maassen is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oslo and a Senior Research Fellow at NIFU STEP.  He is also Director of Hedda, a consortium of European centers for research in Higher Education.

Book chapter abstracts (Word, 47.00 kB)

Dr. Shinichi YamamotoOur podcast then concludes with an interview featuring Dr. Shinichi Yamamoto.  Dr. Yamamoto is Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Research Institute for Higher Education at Hiroshima University in Japan.  For this interview Dr. Yamamoto gives us his perspective on Higher Education in Japan.




Few Women in Japanese Higher Education Management

Out of 87 national Japanese universities, only one university is lead by a female president, Mitiko Go, president of Tokyo’s Ochanomizu University. Japan has the second largest higher education system, after the U.S., yet there isn’t much room for women in the management of higher education. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that most university leadership positions are filled by internal recruitment, hence it continues to be a male-dominated field. Out of 750 universities and colleges in Japan, only 7% of the universities are run by women. Yet, male don’t only dominate leadership positions in universities, they also dominate the academic profession as a whole. Only 16% of faculty positions are held by women. Mitiko Go, President of Ochanamizu University.
Are women more represented in your countries higher education system; why or why not?




Japan to Change Academic Calendar

The Japanese Education Rebuilding Council meeting, October 18, 2006.
According to the Yomiuri Shinbun Japanese newspaper, the education ministry will allow university presidents to change their academic calendar to synchronize with the U.S. & European academic years. This was a recommendation from the Government’s Education Rebuilidng Council, a council formed to reform public education. Currently, universities in Japan start their academic year in April and end in March causing many challenges for foreign faculty and students who want to work or study in Japan. This change will go into affect April 2008.